LucasP: Year 4

Yesterday I noticed that his feet are almost to the edge of his toddler bed.

Today, his beloved Star Wars light up shoes no longer fit him. Funny thing about that though - I only bought them two months ago. So in just the last two months, he's grown a full shoe size right before our eyes. 

The threenager stage of life is no joke. Terrible twos look like a beach vacation compared to three. The seemingly endless task of potty training, the wanting independence vs "You do it Mommy". The constant time outs and counting to three. It's exhausting for sure.

But we're proof that you do come out of the other side, and scattered among the time outs, are some pretty incredible moments.

Watching him overcome fears, and try the things he hasn't been able to do until now is amazing. His love for all things Super Hero / Star Wars has only grown as his understanding of them does also.

I've learned that he can be both shy and outgoing at the same time. I think he gets that from me. But when he makes a friend, he instantly says they are his "favorite friend." 

He loves going on "adventures" with Daddy - tent camping, hiking and s'mores. He's even created his own campfire dance, forever known to family as "the Sticky Icky Dance."

There were a lot of firsts within the past year that aren't shown in the photographs below. Some are from our portrait membership program, others are still sitting on my computer waiting to be edited. If I tried to include them all, this post would be 10x longer.

Since his last birthday, so many things have changed. I won't say they've all been great changes, but we're focusing on the good as often as possible. And here's hoping we will always be able to.

Happy 4th Birthday LucasP!

Love you too the moon and back, and beyond the stars,
Momma

To the Dad's on Father's Day

Whether you're the weary, sleep deprived brand new Dad or the veteran in the trenches Dad.

To the kisses and snuggles Dad, the play tea party Dad, or the fishing buddy Dad. To the nerdy, gamer Dad and the outdoorsman Dad. 

To the Dad who just changed his first (of thousands) of diapers and the dad whose handing over the car keys. 

Or, you're the Dad proudly walking alongside your child on their wedding day. Or the Dad, watching his child with their children.

We've watched you grow, we've photographed your moments with your children. We see your strength and compassion, but we also see your love.

Whatever kind of Dad you are, to us, you're a good one. Happy Father's Day!

Lori & Erin

Take the Trip: Italy Destination Photography

Ten years ago, on our honeymoon we made a decision. On our 10 year anniversary, we would take a second honeymoon to Italy. We were younger, child free and had substantially less responsibilities. It was easy to say we'd do it at the time.

Fast forward nine years. Life had changed a lot. As much as we wanted to still take the trip, for various reasons we questioned whether or not we should.

Ultimately, we decided to do it. And now that we're back, readjusting to normal life without a daily gelato, it was worth every penny we saved and every one of the over 100,000 steps we walked on the trip.

As a husband and wife, we needed this time together. We also desired to fulfill the goals we'd set for ourselves.

It would have been easy to cancel the whole idea; we had a three year old after all and we'd had a harder year. But something inside me couldn't accept all of that.

I read a sign in one of our B&B's that said "travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer." I couldn't agree more.

If there's anything I hope to pass on, it's that idea. Your bank account is not a measure of your richness. Take the trip, live the moments and be rich in those moments, not things.

Ciao,

Erin

Earth Day, Earth Month, Earth Always

walking along the erie canal

I have always loved animals, nature, and being outside.

Being a photographer, I get to incorporate that passion into a vast majority of our sessions. Turns out I'm not the only one who likes to be outside!

Since I started helping people treasure their lives through photography, I've realized a lot of those moments take place in the great outdoors. The people I have met along the way have brought me to parks, trails, and favorite vacation spots I hadn’t seen before. I often return to them after the session, to explore with my husband and dogs.

I am so incredibly grateful for these opportunities. I get to work under the clouds and trees. I get to see kids enjoying the paths and ponds, mud and bugs all around us.

So it's natural to me to want to protect what I love, and where I work. 

 Our family loves to be outdoors and explore!

Our family loves to be outdoors and explore!

With a global population expected to reach 9 billion by 2050, demand may surpass nature’s ability to provide, unless conservation measures are put into place today.
— Rick Crawford, Emerger Strategies |linkedin.com/pulse/why-my-company-joined-1-planet-rick-crawford

I'd like to invite you, this Earth Day and every day, to think about your impact on our planet. Are you helping it or are you hurting it?

If you'd like a place to start, check out some of the small steps below. It wasn't all at once, but I have been building toward a more sustainable life one step at a time. Individually, perhaps is no big deal. But all together, it adds up.

  • Growing your own vegetables (our grocery bill appreciates this!)
  • Water your garden with rain water collected by a rain barrel
  • Start composting (Pretty darn easy, ask me for tips if you’re wondering!)
  • Join the NRDC, The Sierra Club, The Arbor Day Foundation, or another nature oriented cause (free address labels, if nothing else 😜)
  • Become a member of Eco System Restoration Camps (I find this start up lends me optimism when I feel despair)
  • Attend local events, such as those by the Rochester People's Climate Coalition
  • Reduce the amount of beef consumption and add more vegetarian meals to your menu (we’re certainly not vegan, but it’s something)
  • Reduce your use of cleaning solutions where soap and water will do (we're partial to Norwex for cleaning with just water).
 I swear food tastes better when you grow it yourself

I swear food tastes better when you grow it yourself

Get Involved

Need some encouragement? Have questions? Leave a comment. I would be honored to be your support system along the way!

Have a great tip to share? Let us see it in the comments!

We’d love to hear what you do in your home or community to make the earth a little greener. We’re all in this together.

Cheers!
Lori

nature scenes

Announcing: Mental Pictures! New Product Offering

We all know that prints fade and hard drives get corrupted. But what type of photography never fails?

Mental pictures.

 

Lori and Erin Photography is proud to introduce a new product line completely void of any physical manifestation.

Mental pictures!

Don't let the limitations of your wall space or cloud storage stop you from reliving life's greatest moments. Close your eyes and relive that memory in vivid 3D, imax, technicolor with unlimited pixels!

How is this possible you ask?

When you don't have to worry about fixing an image physically, anything is possible! Literally, anything! We'll help you dream up the most incredible experience of your life, and bring it into the sharpest possible focus, all in your mind.

Always wanted to see the Earth from the moon? We'll make it happen.

Always wanted to swim with sharks, but afraid of sharks? We guarantee they won't bite!

Always dreamed of the view from atop Everest, but think the couch is just so darn comfy? We'll take you there!

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Sample Mental Picture

Surgeon Generals Warning: Mental pictures may only be viewed by the person they were created for. Others may experience a blur or dizzying effect.

What you get

With multiple, thorough planning sessions, we will get to understand your deepest desires. You tell us exactly what you want to see, and we will tell it right back to you.

By channeling our endless creativity, and exactly what you have told us, we will create the most vivid mental picture you've never seen!

We'll deliver the image to your brain through our soon-to-be-patented process of BWT*, or Brain Wave Transference. 

*Ask your doctor if you are healthy enough for BWT.**

**As this is a soon-to-be patented system, you may not tell your doctor until after you have placed your non-refundable deposit.

People who love mental pictures

Source: Second hand mental picture. Data may not be reliable.

FAQ

How much is it? Mental pictures take time and skill to perfect. While there is no expensive equipment involved, it has taken many minutes to develop the skills and process you see listed here. Therefore, we are pleased to offer this breakthrough product for seven easy payments of $995.

How do I share my mental picture? Since all brains are inherently unique, we are only able to produce one pristine mental picture at a time. Sharing will result in the degradation of the experience. You may attempt to describe your mental photo to another, but doing so may result in self-destruction. We are not liable if your brain explodes.

How far out are you booking? Mental pictures are a labor intensive process. We recommend booking as soon as possible, or last week.

Is this for real? All I can say is, well, it isn't not an April fools joke...

Be the first to own your very own Mental Picture!

Then, tell your friends, so they too can be on the ground floor of this revolutionary, game changing, no, LIFE changing, new product!

Copyright 2018 Lori and Erin Photography

Being Real: Rochester NY Photographers

Last week, we spent four days at the Inspire Photo Retreat in Connecticut, taking classes to further our education in photography and business. 

I could tell you about all of the things we learned to bring our clients better images. But I'm not going to. Let's be honest, that's not what is most important to either of us.

What we found this week cannot be measured in better images.

So what did we find? Friendships. Mentors. Encouragement. Ourselves.

We talked it out for hours. We laughed, we danced, and we connected to each other and made new friends. We even ugly cried – daily.

The most important thing we found was a renewed sense of purpose. We needed others to hold the mirror up to us, get us to dig deep and be vulnerable. Because how can we ask this of you, if we cannot do it ourselves?

We were reminded of our "why", and why it's so important to share our real selves with you. Even with the massive list of "to-do's" we brought home, I'm so grateful for this experience. Even the ugly tears. 

 Helping you cherish those relationships that matter most to you, will always remain goal number one. We have a lot of work to do, but we're refreshed and ready to make it happen.

~ Erin

Giving Back : 1% for the Planet

earth from above

Imagine living in a world where you have to wear a mask before going outside, or you wake up not knowing if you will have access to clean water that day. It's not just foreign countries being impacted by climate change. Everyone, everywhere, is affected whether we realize it or not.

Now imagine that your actions can make a difference. That you could help reverse the damage done by pollution and wastefulness. After reading Drawdown by Paul Hawken, I felt hope. It is possible to reverse the damage from carbon emissions and you and I can do it.

When I came across 1% for the Planet, it seemed like a great way to use our business to make a difference. 

1% for the Planet is a global movement inspiring businesses and individuals to support environmental solutions through annual membership and everyday actions. We advise on giving strategies, we certify donations, and we amplify the impact of our network.
— www.onepercentfortheplanet.org

Every year, 1% of our gross proceeds will go to charities dedicated to protecting the earth.

“1% for the Planet certifies giving on an annual basis by reviewing each business's sales documentation as well as reviewing donation receipts made to approved nonprofit partners.”

Part of it is the donation itself, yes. But it's also the awareness of the campaign and knowing that people vote with their dollars. If supporting an environmentally friendly business is important to you, you're in the right place.

We feel you!

I love how Rick Crawford put it: "...consumers hold the power to demand a future that is actually sustainable. By demanding products and services from businesses that are solving social and environmental problems, consumers set trends that can't be ignored."

Thank you for your support and if this cause is important to you, now you know that every time you shop with us 1% is going back to the planet. 

Cheers,
Lori

PS: Leave a comment, we'd love to know your thoughts on this initiative!

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Celebrating 5 Years: Radio Social Anniversary Party

Oh my goodness, I think we're still processing it all.

It was almost like a wedding and a reunion mixed together. Lori and I couldn't stop smiling as we talked to everyone that joined us for our big five year anniversary bash at Radio Social.

We bowled, we played, we ate great food and amazing cake. Stepping back and taking it all in, we really have so much to be grateful for when it comes to this two person operation we've got going on.

After reflecting on the party, I realized something pretty big. This is wayyyy more than a two person operation.

It's taken a village, our tribe of amazing people who have supported us every step of the way. From clients and other photographer friends, to family members, amazing friends and our ultra patient spouses – we're never without someone to push us further, or pick us up when we need it most.

Thank you to those who came to celebrate with us. We have to especially thank Heather McKay of McKay's Photography (her's are the rounded corner photos below) for photographing the event for us, and Michelle Crawford of Shell's Sweets for the delicious cake!

And thank you to all those who have supported us - whether from close to home or afar. It's your referrals and your kind words that have allowed us to do what we love for five wonderful years.

Here's to the next chapter!

~ Erin (and Lori)

Valentine's Day is For Everyone: Fairport NY Photographers

Valentine's Day. Whether your totally for it or tend to call it "amateur hour," it's a holiday that as photographers, we do not ignore. It doesn't come in one shape or size, but it does fit everyone.

We stand for love. And while yes, the traditional holiday is meant for romantic gestures between loves - it's also so much more. Romantic love isn't the only game in town.

Yes, love is a first kiss and a first dance.

But it's also a 60th wedding anniversary dance.

Love is cuddling your kids.

Love is cherishing time with grandparents.

Love is having everyone in the same place, because it's rare.

Love is sisters and brothers.

Love is an adorable pet.

Love is your girl squad.

Love is reminiscing over first dates together.

Love is holding hands through the hard stuff.

Love is enjoying the silly things.

Love, is whatever you want it to be. It's whatever moment means the most to you, with those you truly treasure.

Valentine's Day is for everyone, because love is everything.

Happy Valentine's Day!

~ Erin

Why I threw out my wedding photos

Yeah, I said that. And yes - I really did just throw them away. As a photographer, it was one of the hardest things I've ever done.

Your current thoughts probably range from - "Ok?" to "What the $%&*? Erin - WHY?!"

Well... because they were useless to me.

Before you think my marriage just went down the drain, step away from the phone and refrain from texting me like a crazy person. I'm still happily married. I promise.

But, I really did throw away my wedding pictures. At least - the two burned CD's that they were living on in the bottom drawer of my desk. I know, they weren't even in a safe place.

I have the files still, I moved them to three different locations years ago. But the CD's were useless to me.

I threw them away because I don't have a device in my home that's capable of reading them anymore. Which is exactly what we've been preaching to our wedding clients and families for years now.

It's also why I made a wedding album. It's why I made a tangible, printed heirloom - so that one day, I won't have to realize that I have no way to share in the joy of those memories.

If you've got discs of photos lying around that you've never done anything with, I'm not surprised. If you want help making those discs into heirlooms - give us a call.

So that one day, you won't have to throw away your memories.

~ Erin

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2017 with LucasP: rochester photography

All honesty - 2017 wasn't my favorite year. I'm in a place right now, where I'd prefer to move forward, even though it's hard. Despite all of it's hardships, 2017 had some beautiful moments in the life of Lucas P and our journey as a family.

Lucas grew taller, his words come faster (and louder), his true personality emerging stronger every day. For weeks he wouldn't leave the house without a super hero cape or stormtrooper mask on. He still loves his trains, but now mixes his imaginary worlds together. Batman saves Thomas the Train, and Stormtroopers chase dinosaurs. Holding onto this boy's childhood moments have been a saving grace in the chaos.

Those who know me know that we experienced loss, but also immense love this year. Seriously it was intense and an other-worldly kind of love. It's the kind that leaves you dumbfounded and awestruck. I'd always known it was there, but never fully experienced and felt until this year.

If there's anything I can leave you with from this year, (other than some cute family photos) - it's this.

Don't hesitate to take the pictures. The moment might not be perfect, or the lighting not ideal, or your make up is not on. Some of the photos from this year of my life are literally the last of their kind. I'll never be able to recreate these photos. Take the picture - because someone who loves you, might need to hold onto that photo tomorrow.

These photos bring me smiles, laughs and sometimes tears. But they're reminders of a life that's full, and lived and loved. They're something else to hold on to - keeping me tethered in the storm and giving me a reminder to keep showing up, even if it's pouring.

Because when the rain finally stops, I know I'll see the rainbow.

With love, and hope for a brighter year,

Erin

Special thank You to NorthGlow Photography for our family session this year!

5 Years and Counting: Happy Anniversary Us!

So often we get caught up in the daily tasks of running a business that we forget to step back and look at all we've actually accomplished.

But not today. Today we're celebrating a milestone anniversary of us. Five years ago today, we made "Lori & Erin" official in the eyes of New York State - and we haven't looked back. In this industry, so many of us are independent and prefer to go it alone. So, finding a photography partnership can be a little like finding a unicorn. It's something rare.

For those that don't know our story, you can check out the recap in this post from earlier this week. Whether it was the Almighty, Buddha, or Yoda using The Force, I believe that finding each other and creating this business was meant to happen.

We've set goals and faced challenges. We've grown together, as well as individually into who we are and why we do it. We aren't the same people who started this journey. We're stronger and smarter and maybe a little bit crazier (in a good way). And all because we had an idea of a partnership over five years ago.

And it's also because of you. Looking back on all of these sessions has been wonderful. We're so grateful for each of your smiles. You have helped us grow. Thank you for putting your trust in us, year after year to help you treasure your relationships forever.

Here's to another five years!

Lori & Erin

PS - Here's a video recap of ALL five years, are you in it?